Last updated: June 07. 2014 9:48PM - 5328 Views
By - lmihm@civitasmedia.com

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LIMA — A roof fire at Procter & Gamble Distribution Center early Saturday caused an evacuation of the facility.

It was reported that the roof at the Procter & Gamble Distribution Center, 635 N. Cool Road in Bath Township, had caught fire shortly after midnight. Upon arrival, firefighters observed an area about 20-foot by 20-foot on fire and heavy smoke in the building. Firefighters were able to gain access to the roof and extinguish the fire within about 20 minutes. The fire had also extended into the building causing the sprinkler system to activate. All employees were evacuated before the Fire Department arrived.

Firefighters remained on the scene for about three hours. There were no injuries to employees or firefighters.

The cause of the fire was unknown and remained under investigation late Saturday. A damage estimate was not available Saturday evening.

P&G’s Lima plant and distribution center in Bath Township employs about 700. It produces several brands of liquid detergents and softeners, including Tide, Downy and Era. The Lima plant was built in 1968. The 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center was completed in 2006. It is the largest fully automated logistics center in the world.

The Lima plant added nearly 40 P&G jobs in 2013, as well as contractor positions, with the new Tide Pods line. The product was in development for years, and the line was in development for a year before Lima began production of the Pods in February 2012.

Procter & Gamble is headquartered in Cincinnati and has operations in 75 countries and $84 billion in annual sales.

It was the second fire of a major manufacturing facility in the township in two weeks. On May 23, the Bath Township Fire Department was alerted of a fire at 10:05 a.m. at Dana Corp., 777 Bible Road, Lima. When firefighters arrived four minutes later, heavy smoke was seen coming from the building, both at ground level and from the roof.

The plant was evacuated of all personnel before the arrival of fire crews. Bath firefighters, along with the Lima Fire Department and Dana maintenance employees, were able to get the fire under control within 30 minutes. The buiding’s sprinkler system was activated during the fire. No employees or firefighters were injured.

That fire began above a furnace and extended to the roof.

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